World’s Oldest Living Person Lives in Gingee Town, in Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu, India.


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Gingee (Senji Junction) is a panchayat town in Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. It is located between three hills. Nearby towns are Tindivanam (28 km away), Tiruvannamalai (39 km away) and Villupuram.

"Gingee Fort" by Sean Patrick Doran selected for Google Earth.

“Gingee Fort” by Sean Patrick Doran selected for Google Earth.

Tourists are attracted to Gingee for its historical Fort popularly known as “Gingee Fort” (Tamil: Senji Koattai). The Fort was founded in 1190 AD by the Kon dynasty. Later during the 13th century the fort was extended by the Chola dynasty. In 1638, Gingee came under the control of Bijapur Sultan of Vijayanagar; in 1677, it was under the control of Maratha king Shivaji, in 1690, it came under the Mughals, and became the headquarters of Arcot; in 1750, it went into the hands of the French; and eventually, the British took control of the Gingee Fort in 1762.

Now, near this historical town in the village called Jambodi lives a couple who are creating history. They are 123-years-old A. Rangasamy Gounder and his wife Sadachi Ammal, aged 108.

World's oldest living man Rangasamy Gounder with his wife Sadachi Ammal

World’s oldest living man Rangasamy Gounder with his wife Sadachi Ammal

Their family members produced the ration-card issued in 2005 to prove the ages of these two elders. According to the ration card, Rangasamy Gounder was 115-years-old and his wife Sadachi was 100-years-old at that time.

Their 80-year-old son Balakrishnan, who is 80 now, said the ration card issued to his parents in 2005 was duly verified by the revenue authorities.

So, Rangasamy Gounder is now 123-years-old and could well be the oldest human known in history – surpassing Monsieur Jeanne Calment of France who died in August 1997, by almost 200 days.

Rangasamy Gounder is in good health and so is his wife Sadachi Ammal. They live in their ancestral abode in Jambodi village.

They have three sons, 39 grandchildren and two great grandchildren living in various parts of Tamil Nadu.

Their grandson B. Sekar, a farm coolie who lives close by said that his grandparents even though old, were are quite independent and manage themselves well. He further said that his grandfather has so far not gone to a doctor for any treatment and his grandmother went just once after she had a fall at home. According to Sekar, his grandfather’s teeth are all intact but disoloured due to chewing beetle leaves.

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Nikola Tesla, the Obscure Genius


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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“When I saw this wonderful man [Thomas Alva Edison], who had had no training at all, no advantages, and who did it all himself, and saw the great results by virtue of his industry and application – you see, I had studied a dozen languages … and had spent the best years of my life ruminating through libraries. I thought to myself what a terrible thing it was to have wasted my life on those useless things, and if I had only come to America right then and there and devoted all of my brain power and inventiveness to my work, what could I not have done?” (Nikola Tesla, in My inventions: My early life. Electrical Experimenter; February 1919)

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla, a Serbian-American, was born in what is now Croatia on July 10, 1856. He was a physicist, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, an inventor, and futurist. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

During his lifetime, Tesla obtained about 300 patents for his inventions. Today, we take many of his inventions for granted today. For example, we owe Tesla for the flip switch when we turn on the light.

Tesla was one of the few inventors who contributed to advances in science and engineering in the early 20th century. As one of the fathers of Electricity, Nikola Tesla did pioneering work on alternating current (AC) power system, electromagnetism, hydroelectric power, radio, radar etc.

Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before he immigrated to the United States in 1884.

In 1882, Nikola Tesla started working for two years at the Continental Edison Company in France designing and making improvements to electrical equipment. In June 1884, Tesla relocated to New York City. During his trip across the Atlantic, his ticket, money, and some of his luggage were stolen. Then, mutiny broke out on the ship and he was nearly thrown overboard. When he landed in the United States he had only four cents in his pocket, a letter of recommendation from Charles Batchelor, the English engineer who managed the Continental Edison Company in Europe.

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison

Tesla met Edison. Knowing the famous American inventor had a hearing problem spoke up and introduced himself. He produced the brief message from Batchelor.

Edison snorted after glancing at the brief message. “I know two great men and you are one of them,” Batchelor had written. “The other is this young man!

A rumpled, weary, and deeply skeptical Edison asked Tesla what he could do.

Tesla humbly described the engineering work he had done in France, and spoke of his designs for induction motors that could run smoothly and powerfully on alternating current. Edison, however, knew very little about alternating current and believed it to be the work of the devil. Edison was a man with bigot, who in the past had waged a propaganda war against the gas companies stating the use of gas as a source of power would endanger humans due to possible explosions.

Eventually, Edison hired Tesla to work at the Edison Machine Works in New York.

One year later after a disagreement over emoluments, Tesla struck out on his own. With financial backers, he set up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices that sparked the long-running, and bitter “War of the Currents.”

Laboratory where TEsla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems.

Laboratory where Tesla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems.

George Westinghouse used Tesla’s patented AC induction motor and transformer under license and hired him as a consultant to help develop a power system using alternating current.

Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. His patented devices and theoretical work were used in the invention of radio communication, and in his X-ray experiments.

At that time, James S. Warden, a western lawyer and banker had purchased land in Shoreham, Long Island, about 60 miles from Manhattan. Here, he built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Nikola Tesla’s “world system” a “Radio City” would arise in the area. He offered Tesla 200 acres (81 ha) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility. In 1901, Tesla designed the Wardenclyffe Tower also known as the Tesla Tower, an early wireless transmission tower intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and proof-of-concept demonstrations of wireless power transmission. It never became fully operational and the tower was demolished in 1917.

Tesla with his achievements and his seemingly miraculous inventions and his abilities as a showman became world-famous. Though he reaped much money from his patents, he also spent a lot on numerous experiments. For most of his life he lived in New York hotels. Finally, the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances. Even then, Tesla continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working on. Due to his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation as the archetypal “mad scientist”.

Though Nikola Tesla was one of the world’s greatest inventors, as fate would have it, he died penniless and in obscurity on January 7, 1943 in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel.

Monument for f Nikola Tesla at the entrance to the “Cave of the Winds” at Niagara Falls.

This monument to honour Nikola Tesla near the entrance to the “Cave of the Winds” on Goat Island (Niagara Falls State Park), New York, USA, the work of famous Croatian sculptor Krsinic was the gift of Yugoslavia to the United States, 1976. (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj – August 3, 2012)

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A letter to Angelina Jolie by an Indian Transman


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By Satya

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Dear Angelina Jolie,

Thank you for coming out. I mean about your mastectomy. You have no idea what this can mean for a transman like me who went through the exact same procedure as yours; well almost!

You didn’t have to come out, but you did. Especially since during your mastectomies you kept it private and carried on with your work. I know how difficult it gets with film producer types. I am a filmmaker in Mumbai and you won’t believe it, but once during an edit session, Mr. Moneybags, finding me alone in the cutting room, asked if we could compare our d*** sizes! He giggled and said he hadn’t ever seen one of someone who has had a sex change operation.

Your piece in the New York Times ‘My Medical Choice’, undoubtedly must have been that  - a medical choice. You spent three months, since this February, on a procedure called ‘Preventive Bilateral Mastectomy; ‘Preventive’ since you are the carrier of the BRCA1 gene that puts you at 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer. I spent several years trying to convince doctors that I needed a mastectomy for preventive reasons too. Years of forced living in a gender identity that wasn’t my own, began to immobilize me. In a society that understands only two genders and in a medical system that sees abnormality in everything outside of it, going on is eventually impossible. But your risk of celebrity cancer turned out to be higher than my risk of a commoner suicide. Still, I am happy for you. The mere idea that someone can remove their breasts, at 87% risk or no risk, is just good enough for me for now.

And of course you wrote this piece for women! And I am hoping that you meant transwomen too, some of whom I know would kill to have your new breast implants. How atrocious is the idea being peddled that you wrote it to benefit the Pink Lotus Breast Centre, where your procedure was performed, or for the biotech company, Myriad Genetics, which owns a patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes giving them exclusive right to develop diagnostic tests for, at a current cost of more than $3000 in the USA. The fact that most breast cancer seems to be sporadic and has nothing to do with a BRCA1 mutation, pales beautifully in front of your sheer courage to talk about your own mastectomy in the media.

It is interesting though that all the media attention has been on your courage in losing your breasts, and not equally on your desire to have them reconstructed. Your doctors could have expected you to simply get back to the business of life without them. After all they were lost to a very high possibility of a most dreaded disease. But they didn’t. If you were non accepting of your loss, they could have put you through that monster of an American psychiatric-diagnostic-manual called ‘DSM-4 ‘ to prove your mental illness and therefore the need to cure you through breast reconstruction. But they didn’t. On the contrary, they became your facilitators. They saw you, as you saw yourself, a woman, one with those very definitive markers of femininity : breasts. Why do cosmetic surgeries for women skip the pathologisation that is mandatory for trans people all over the world? Why is it that medicine cannot facilitate trans people in the same way and grant them the same dignity of self identity?

Just like many of my trans brothers, sisters and lovers, I become complicit. I agreed to pathologize my gender identity. I agreed to let the psychiatrist issue me a certificate for Gender Identity Dysphoria [GID]. If I was to lose my breasts, I needed those gatekeepers to let me in. You had the BRCA1 to open the big wide doors of reconstructive surgery for you. And I had my GID certificate. I let them say, I am mentally ill. I let them say it on paper. I signed on an affidavit stating this was my consent and that I was totally responsible for whatever the surgeries would result in.

In a world with greater understanding, removing my breasts should have been seen as my ‘aesthetic choice’ ; a choice exercised in the severely limited societal understanding of gender, as being either only male or only female. But you’d agree that medicine being organized on the central idea of disease or, as you now have made so public, the possibility of it, is ill equipped at the moment, for such fine abstractions as mine. I knew success when I saw my psychiatrist scribble on his over qualified letterhead: “Diagnosis: G.I.D.’ Just like you, I too finally, made a ‘medical choice’. That I was as smart in 1997, as you are in 2013, makes me feel rather pleased with myself! Perhaps, this is a sign? Perhaps I will be a celebrity soon! Perhaps I will meet you at the next Cannes film festival and we can rule the world together?! Two Celebrity Bilateral Mastectomy Survivors, with reconstructed breasts on one, is better than none?! No?!

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Re-posted from THE TIMES OF INDIA

The author Satya is the founder & facilitator of the Indian Trans Group, Sampoorna.

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A Speech Purported to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay About Indians


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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A century ago, the name Macaulay was often associated with cultural withdrawal of ethnic Indians from their Hindu-based traditions. It began with the incorporation of the Indians into the then expanding English-speaking civilization.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, a British historian and Whig politician held political office as Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841 and Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848. He was also an essayist and reviewer. His books on British history were hailed as literary masterpieces. Between 1834 and 1838 he lived in Calcutta and served on the British “Supreme Council for India”. His “Minute on Education,” touches on the relation of Western and Indian civilizations.

Today, I saw the following message posted in Facebook:

Lord Macaulay's Address to the British Parliament on February 2, 1835

Speech purported to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay about Indians

I felt tempted to share this with my Facebook friends. However, as usual, I delved into the matter and noted a few anomalies in the quote. First, the language is modern. Second, Lord Macaulay was a devil’s advocate of the British empire, and considered Indians as an inferior race compared to the British.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of “The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay,” Vol. 4 (of 4), by Thomas Babington Macaulay is a compilation of speeches of Lord Macaulay from March 2, 1831 to June 1, 1853. I quote from his Preface:

I therefore unwillingly, and in mere self-defence, give this volume to the public. I have selected, to the best of my judgment, from among my speeches, those which are the least unworthy to be preserved. Nine of them were corrected by me while they were still fresh in my memory, and appear almost word for word as they were spoken. They are the speech of the second of March 1831,… The substance of the remaining speeches I have given with perfect ingenuousness. I have not made alterations for the purpose of saving my own reputation either for consistency or for foresight. I have not softened down the strong terms in which I formerly expressed opinions which time and thought may have modified; nor have I retouched my predictions in order to make them correspond with subsequent events. Had I represented myself as speaking in 1831, in 1840, or in 1845, as I should speak in 1853, I should have deprived my book of its chief value. This volume is now at least a strictly honest record of opinions and reasonings which were heard with favour by a large part of the Commons of England at some important conjunctures; and such a record, however low it may stand in the estimation of the literary critic, cannot but be of use to the historian.

However, I could not find the quote: “I have traveled across the length and breadth of India …” anywhere in this volume or elsewhere other than in social websites such as Facebook, where this quote is widely circulated among Indians, and blindly shared by many self-styled ‘Indian patriots’.

I have reproduced below what Macaulay said on Indian education, and his chauvinistic attitude towards Indians and their traditions. This passage also shows clearly that Lord Macaulay said things directly opposite to the quote attributed to him:

On Indian Education

We now come to the gist of the matter. We have a fund to be employed as Government shall direct for the intellectual improvement of the people of this country. The simple question is, what is the most useful way of employing it?

All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India, contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are, moreover, so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them. It seems to be admitted on all sides, that the intellectual improvement of those classes of the people who have the means of pursuing higher studies can at present be effected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them.

What then shall that language be? One-half of the Committee maintain that it should be the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems to me to be, which language is the best worth knowing?

I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic.-But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed both here and at home with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is, indeed, fully admitted by those members of the Committee who support the Oriental plan of education.

It will hardly be disputed, I suppose, that the department of literature in which the Eastern writers stand highest is poetry. And I certainly never met with any Orientalist who ventured to maintain that the Arabic and Sanscrit poetry could be compared to that of the great European nations. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded, and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.

How, then, stands the case? We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue. We must teach them some foreign language. The claims of our own language it is hardly necessary to recapitulate. It stands preeminent even among the languages of the west. It abounds with works of imagination not inferior to the noblest which Greece has bequeathed to us; with models of every species of eloquence; with historical compositions, which, considered merely as narratives, have seldom been surpassed, and which, considered as vehicles of ethical and political instruction, have never been equalled; with just and lively representations of human life and human nature; with the most profound speculations on metaphysics, morals, government, jurisprudence, and trade; with full and correct information respecting every experimental science which tends to preserve the health, to increase the comfort, or to expand the intellect of man. Whoever knows that language has ready access to all the vast intellectual wealth, which all the wisest nations of the earth have created and hoarded in the course of ninety generations. It may safely be said, that the literature now extant in that language is of far greater value than all the literature which three hundred years ago was extant in all the languages of the world together. Nor is this all. In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. It is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is likely to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are rising, the one in the south of Africa, the other in Australasia; communities which are every year becoming more important, and more closely connected with our Indian empire. Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature, or at the particular situation of this country, we shall see the strongest reason to think that, of all foreign tongues, the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.

The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language, we shall teach languages in which, by universal confession, there are no books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own; whether, when we can teach European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, whenever they differ from those of Europe, differ for the worse; and whether, when we can patronise sound Philosophy and true History, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines, which would disgrace an English farrier [note: a horse shoer] -Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long, and Geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.

We are not without experience to guide us. History furnishes several analogous cases, and they all teach the same lesson. There are in modem times, to go no further, two memorable instances of a great impulse given to the mind of a whole society,-of prejudices overthrown,-of knowledge diffused,-of taste purified,-of arts and sciences planted in countries which had recently been ignorant and barbarous.

The first instance to which I refer, is the great revival of letters among the Western nations at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. At that time almost every thing that was worth reading was contained in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Had our ancestors acted as the Committee of Public Instruction has hitherto acted; had they neglected the language of Cicero and Tacitus; had they confined their attention to the old dialects of our own island; had they printed nothing and taught nothing at the universities but Chronicles in Anglo-Saxon, and Romances in Norman-French, would England have been what she now is? What the Greek and Latin were to the contemporaries of More and Ascham [note: English humanists of the 16th century] our tongue is to the people of India. The literature of England is now more valuable than that of classical antiquity. I doubt whether the Sanscrit literature be as valuable as that of our Saxon and Norman progenitors. In some departments,-in History, for example, I am certain that it is much less so.

In one point I fully agree with the gentlemen to whose general views I am opposed. I feel with them, that it is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.

Source: Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Minute of 2 February 1835 on Indian Education,” Macaulay, Prose and Poetry, selected by G. M. Young (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), pp-721-24,729.

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Behind the Billowing Smoke


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Jawed Naqvi

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By Jawed Naqvi

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BEFORE he was stopped for questioning at the Boston airport last week, Azam Khan was perceived as a ghetto-embracing politician, an Indian Muslim with a provincial worldview.

He was once quoted as famously wanting to lead a mob to tear down the Taj Mahal because it symbolised a waste of money. He had earlier claimed that the Babri mosque could only be demolished over his dead body. Well? And he runs an educational institution after a Muslim hero who strove to restore the caliphate in Turkey against Kemal Ataturk’s modernising efforts.

After he was checked at the Boston airport, following which he kicked up a right royal fuss, Azam Khan comes across as the gross neighbour who walked into a house in mourning with an eye on the warm biryani.

The minister from Uttar Pradesh mistimed it though. He had gone to the United States to be feted by the Indian diaspora but was quizzed at the airport where security happened to be on a higher alert than normal.

He claimed he was singled out for being a Muslim. It is perfectly possible that the computerised data on the US terror watch flickered when it saw someone close to his description, and why not?

After all, Muslims have been in the thick of these things. Two Muslim migrants had shockingly wreaked havoc in Boston the other day, evidently in pursuit of their religious calling. They attacked a marathon race, making it the third time when people with Muslim names targeted sportspersons at events where the prize was a cornucopia of human fellowship.

How does Azam Khan respond to the fact that people bearing Muslim names killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972? They targeted a friendly Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.

Who knows what the computer threw up on him, but Azam Khan is known to be so self-absorbed he wouldn’t have noticed that Meera Shankar was handed a pat-down at a US airport when she was India’s ambassador in Washington DC. It’s a country in serious trouble. Former defence minister George Fernandes and movie actor Shahrukh Khan were questioned too.

What seems even more ironical for Azam Khan’s pervasive sense of victimhood is the fact that Narendra Modi has been denied a US visa, ostensibly because of the extremist politics he practises in Gujarat.

The tangled skein of terror and counter-terror of course goes beyond easy references to religious pursuits as the source.

The example of Timothy McVeigh has been cited in the context of the Boston tragedy. McVeigh was a former US soldier with a disturbed childhood. He was decorated with a military medal for his services in the Kuwait-Iraq expedition before he rammed a truck loaded with explosives in Oklahoma into a government building packed with people.

His grouse with the American government seems to have had little to do with his Roman Catholic faith.

McVeigh was executed with a lethal injection, but every year militarist American policies create more and more disturbed war veterans. The Guardian in February detailed a horrific tragedy unfolding in the United States with practically every military outing.

Describing what it said was a suicide epidemic among US war veterans, The Guardian homed in on the heartrending story of William Busbee, “archetype of the US soldier” whose mother feels he was let down by the army he loved so much.

“Libby Busbee is pretty sure that her son William never sat through or read Shakespeare’s Macbeth, even though he behaved as though he had,” wrote The Guardian. “Soon after he got back from his final tour of Afghanistan, he began rubbing his hands over and over and constantly rinsing them under the tap.”

The reference was to Lady Macbeth’s writhing with guilt at the cold-blooded murder of King Duncan by his trusted lieutenant, her husband.

“Mom, it won’t wash off,” the 23-year old William Busbee said. “What are you talking about?” the mother replied. “The blood. It won’t come off.”

The paper records how on March 20 last year, the “soldier’s striving for self-cleanliness came to a sudden end. That night he locked himself in his car and, with his mother and two sisters screaming just a few feet away and with SWAT officers encircling the vehicle, he shot himself in the head.”

Busbee became part of a gruesome statistic. In 2012, for the first time in at least a generation, the number of active-duty soldiers who killed themselves, 177, exceeded the 176 who were killed while in the war zone, the report noted. “To put that another way, more of America’s serving soldiers died at their own hands than in pursuit of the enemy.”

But who is the enemy that young men like William Busbee and Timothy McVeigh are routinely deputed to fight? Before the blood of the three victims killed in the Boston blast was dry, President Obama had sanctioned $133 million or thereabout to arm religious extremists fighting the secular albeit undemocratic Assad regime in Syria.

The trouble is that many of the beneficiaries of the American largesse in the Syrian conflict are the same people whose ideological perversion was responsible for the tragedy of the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001.

This cynical American pursuit of make-believe strategic security becomes equally untenable when the Boston bombers turn out to be inspired by anti-Russian religious bigots who are considered to be kosher by Washington as long as they don’t harm Americans.

I can fully understand Azam Khan getting frisked at the Boston airport, but it is difficult to accept the rest of the story behind Boston’s billowing smoke, which masks America’s unending tryst with self-inflicted horrors.

The writer is Dawn’s correspondent in Delhi.

jawednaqvi@gmail.com

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Re-posted from DAWN.com

Anger Management: A Few Tips to Control Our Temper


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Anger

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Managing anger is challenging, especially when someone provokes us willfully.

We must understand that feeling angry is part of being human. Anger is a normal and healthy emotion that helps us detect and respond instinctively to threatening situations like being attacked, insulted, deceived or frustrated. Even so, uncontrolled anger turns destructive and lead to problems that take a toll on our health, our personal relationships at home, at work, between friends and acquaintances. Uncontrolled anger could change the overall quality of our life and make us feel as though we are at the mercy of an unpredictable destructive power brimming within us. Anger becomes a problem when it harms us or others.

Charles Spielberger, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger defines anger as “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.”

Anger, like other emotions, produces physiological and biological changes: our heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of our energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Adrenaline and noradrenaline are catecholamines that play major roles in regulating the ‘inner world’ of the body by the brain. Adrenaline is a key cause of responses to metabolic or global challenges to homeostasis, such as glucoprivation, and of manifestations of emotional distress. Noradrenaline (synonymous with norepinephrine), the main neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nervous system, is responsible for tonic and reflexive changes in cardiovascular tone. Both external and/or internal circumstances can cause anger. One could be angry with a coworker or supervisor or could be angry due to an inadvertent event such as being in the midst of a traffic jam, or confronted with a canceled flight, or one’s anger could be the result of brooding and worrying about one’s personal problems. Even remembering traumatic or aggravating events can trigger angry feelings too.

Some Myths About Anger

  • Suppressing anger or ignoring it is unhealthy.

But venting anger is no better. Tirades and outbursts often worsen a situation than making it better.

  • Showing an aggressive attitude and intimidating others when angry help us earn the respect of others and carry out what we want.

If we cannot control ourselves or are not ready to listen and understand opposing viewpoints, then no one would ever show us respect even though they might be afraid of us. Real power comes not by bullying others.

  • Anger is an uncontrollable emotion.

We cannot always control the circumstances and the situation we have ourselves got into or how it makes us feel, but we can control the way we express our anger – without being oral or physically abusive. We always have the choice on how we should respond.

Some Dynamics of Anger

    • We become more angry when we are stressed and body resources are down.
    • We are rarely ever angry for the reasons we think.
    • We are often angry when we didn’t get what we needed as a child.
    • We often become angry when we see a trait in others we can’t stand in ourselves.
    • Underneath many current angers are old disappointments, traumas, and triggers.
    • Sometimes we get angry because we were hurt as a child.
    • We get angry when a current event brings up an old unresolved situation from the past.
    • We often feel strong emotion when a situation has a similar content, words or energy that we have felt before.

Source: Get Your Angries Out

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10 Tips to Tame Our Temper

Anger management is all about becoming aware of our underlying feelings and the need to develop healthy ways to manage our emotions and physical actions when we are in rage. The staff of Mayo Clinic have compiled a set of 10 simple anger management tips to tame our temper:

No. 1: Take a timeout

Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.

No. 2: Once you’re calm, express your anger

As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

No. 3: Get some exercise

Physical activity can offer an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.

No. 4: Think before you speak

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

No. 5: Identify possible solutions

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.

No. 6: Stick with ‘I’ statements

To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”

No. 7: Don’t hold a grudge

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.

No. 8: Use humor to release tension

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

No. 9: Practice relaxation skills

When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

No. 10: Know when to seek help

Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. With professional help, you can:

      • Learn what anger is
      • Identify what triggers your anger
      • Recognize signs that you’re becoming angry
      • Learn to respond to frustration and anger in a controlled, healthy way
      • Explore underlying feelings, such as sadness or depression

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Under control

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Pope Francis I: The Humble Pope Given to Us by God


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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In the Catholic Church to choose a new pope, it is mandatory for every cardinal under the age of 80 to travel to Rome to take part in the secret conclave election process which begins with a mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica followed by a procession to the Sistine Chapel.

Before the cardinals arrive, the Sistine Chapel goes through a comprehensive check or unauthorized microphones, recording or other communication devices. The phones of the cardinals are also blocked to prevent them from communicating with anyone about the election.

At the outset, the 115 cardinals participating in the election process this year took an oath of secrecy. After that the first voting process began. Each cardinal could cast one vote, except for himself. A candidate for the papacy must receive two-third of the total votes. This voting process continues with four voting sessions – two in the morning and two in the afternoon – for five consecutive days, or until the pope is chosen.

At the end of each voting session the smoke from the burned ballots bellowing out of the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel reveals to the public the outcome of that voting session: black smoke to mean no consensus reached, and white smoke to announce the successful choice of a new Pope.

White smoke - Habemus Papam! / We have a Pope!

White smoke – Habemus Papam! / We have a Pope!

On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, white smoke appeared out of the Sistine Chapel chimney shortly after 7 pm Rome time. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of the deacons, appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and announced in Latin: “Habemus Papam!” (English: “We have a pope!”). Cardinal Tauran then revealed the pontiff’s birth name and the name he has chosen for himself as pope.

His Holiness, Pope Francis I

His Holiness, Pope Francis I

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Jesuit, is the new pope of the Catholic Church. He has taken the name of Francis.

Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica said the new pontiff had chosen the name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, and had done so because the he was a lover of the poor. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a participant in the proceedings of the Conclave, confirmed that the new pope said, “I choose the name Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi”.

This is the first time in papal history the name “Francis” used by a Pope, and the first time a serving Pope held a name unused by a predecessor since the brief reign of Pope Lando (also known as Landus) from July or August 913 until his death in February or March 914.

His Holiness, Pope Francis I, (though technically he can’t be called the first until there is a second pope Francis) is the first pope from the Americas. South America’s Catholics make up an estimated 40%, the largest regional following, of the 1.2 billion strong Catholic Church worldwide. He is a non-European.

“Non-European” can have two different meanings: ethnicity, and nationality. As in the U.S., many citizens of Argentina are descendants of immigrants, and most of them are of European descent. Pope Francis I, former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an Argentine citizen. He was born in Buenos Aires to Italian immigrants of Piedmontese origin and hence is ethnically Italian. He grew up in the Argentine capital. His father, Mario José Bergoglio was a railway worker, and his mother Regina María Sivori, a housewife.

The Pope’s decision to pick the name “Francis” shows his simplicity and humility. His personal style is the antithesis of Vatican splendor. He believes in social justice and living a simple lifestyle. Though he was the Cardinal of the Catholic Church in Argentina, he passed on the right to have a chauffeured limousine and instead used public transport. He lived in a small apartment eschewing a formal bishop’s palace and reportedly cooked his own meals.

Here are some points to ponder:

  • He graduated from a technical secondary school as a chemical technician.
  • He decided to become a priest at the age of 21.
  • He speaks Italian fluently, as well as Latin, Spanish, German, French, and English.
  • He is the first Jesuit Pope.
  • He has lived for more than 50 years with one functioning lung. His other lung was removed as a young man due to infection.
  • He washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice in 2001.
  • He has opposed the legislation that allows same-sex marriage introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government.
  • He has served on the Congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life, the Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Commission on Latin American and the Family Council.
  • He requested Argentinians not to spend money on travel to Rome to celebrate if he was appointed. He asked them to give that amount to the poor instead.
  • He is a conservative on Church doctrine. However, he has criticized priests who refuse to baptize children born to single mothers.
  • He opposes vulgar ideas such as gay marriage unlike some other heads of states.
  • He believes that condoms “can be permitted” to prevent sex-transmitted infection.
  • He once called abortion a “death sentence” for unborn children, during a speech on October 2, 2007. He said: “we are not in agreement with death penalty, but in Argentina we have the death penalty.  A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”
The shoes of Pope Francis

The shoes of Pope Francis

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“Habemus Papam!” / “We have a pope!”


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Pope Francis I - 3

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On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, white smoke appeared out of the Sistine Chapel chimney shortly after 7 pm Rome time. French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of the deacons, from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica announced in Latin: “Habemus Papam!” (English: “We have a pope!“).

Cardinal Tauran then revealed the pontiff’s birth name and the name he has chosen for himself as pope.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Jesuit, is the new pope of the Catholic Church. He has taken the name of Francis.

Former Cardinal Bergoglio is the first Jesuit and the first Latin American elected Pope and the first non-European pope in 1200 years. Also, he is the first Pope to choose the name “Francis.”

Pope Francis I is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on March 13, 2013.

He is known as a humble person who speaks for the poor and led an austere life in Buenos Aires. He was born to Italian immigrant parents on December 17, 1936, and grew up in the Argentine capital.

‘‘Brothers and sisters, good evening,’’ Pope Francis said in Italian from the white balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica as thousands cheered joyously below. ”You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome.”

Pope Francis asked the audience: “pray for me, and we’ll see each other soon.”

The crowd shouted “Habemus papam!” in Latin waving umbrellas and flags. “We have a pope!” Others cried: “Viva il Papa!”

“As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years – that in each other we see the face of God,” President Obama said in the message released by the White House. “As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.”

Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
We praise thee, O God:
we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

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The Amazing Randi: Self-proclaimed “Charlatan” and “Honest Liar”


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. Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The Amazing Randi .

In the world of modern magic for every magician who uses his powers of conjuring for entertainment, there are countless fortune-tellers, psychics, cardsharps, faith healers, scam-artists, con men, and what not that use those same powers for thievery and evil gains.

However, among those magicians making a living in the realm of the supernatural are gentlemen like James Randi: a small, aging, merry magician with wizard white hair and sporting a Santa Claus beard.

James “The Amazing” Randi, the Canadian-American stage magician, and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience, and self-proclaimed: “charlatan” has traveled the world as a magician, escape artist, author, lecturer.

James "The Amazing" Randi

Young James “The Amazing” Randi

Randall James Hamilton Zwinge was born in Toronto, Ontario, on August 7, 1928. He took up magic after seeing Harry Blackstone, Sr., and reading several books on magic while spending 13 months in a body cast following a bicycle accident. As a student Randi often skipped classes, and after dropping out of high school at 17 he joined a traveling carnival. He practiced as a mentalist (a psychic entertainer) at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition and wrote for Montreal’s tabloid press.

In his twenties, he posed as a psychic to prove that the so-called psychics actually hoodwinked the public doing simple tricks. For a short period he wrote an astrological column in the Canadian tabloid Midnight under the name “Zoran,” simply by collecting astrology columns from other newspapers and pasting them randomly into a column of his own.

In his thirties, Randi worked in Philippine night clubs and in various cities in Japan.

He saw many tricks presented as supernatural. One of those was the “one-ahead” technique or “Billet reading” used by an evangelist to convince churchgoers of his so-called ‘divine powers.’

In 1946, Randi began his career as a professional stage magician under his real name, Randall Zwinge which he later dropped in favour of “The Amazing Randi”. Early in his career, he performed many escape acts from jail cells and safes. On February 7, 1956, he appeared live on The Today Show, where he remained for 104 minutes in a sealed metal coffin submerged in a hotel swimming pool and broke Houdini’s record of 93 minutes.

Years later, he became an international celebrity with his astounding feats of magic, escape stunts, sleight of hand, acts of Mentalism, and other paranormal feats.

According to the dictum “it takes a thief to catch a thief,” Randi dedicated his life to expose frauds and cheats who prey on people’s beliefs in the supernatural and psychic abilities. Even now at 84, he continues his mission with boundless energy and wit of a vaudevillian. He has indeed a cult following him around the globe.

Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) that sponsors “The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge” offering a prize of US $1,000,000 to eligible applicants who can show evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties.

Randi got the idea for the challenge during a radio panel discussion when a parapsychologist challenged him to “put [his] money where [his] mouth is.” In 1964, Randi started offering $1,000 as prizes, and after sometime he raised the prize amount to $10,000. Later, Lexington Broadcasting wanted Randi to do a show called the $100,000 Psychic Prize, so they added $90,000 to the original $10,000 offered by Randi. Eventually, in 1996, one of his friends, Internet pioneer Rick Adams donated US $1,000,000 for the prize. So far, about a thousand people have taken the challenge. However, not even one has been successful.

Uri Geller

Uri Geller

Uri Geller (born December 20, 1946) is a magician, television personality, and self-proclaimed psychic known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other supposed psychic effects. Geller’s career as an entertainer has spanned almost four decades, with television shows and appearances in many countries. Throughout his career, critics have accused Geller of using simple conjuring tricks to simulate the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy. Geller used to call his abilities “psychic” but now prefers to refer to himself as a “mystifier” and entertainer.

Geller has claimed his feats are the result of paranormal powers given to him by extraterrestrials.

As expected James Randi is one of Geller’s most prominent critic and has accused Geller repeatedly of trying to pass off magic tricks as paranormal displays. Randi often duplicated Geller’s performances using stage magic techniques. He and other critics such as Richard Feynman and Martin Gardner have accused him of using his techniques fraudulently outside the entertainment business.

Richard Feynman, winner of Nobel Prize for physics was once an amateur magician. In 1985, he wrote in his book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! that Geller was not able to bend a key for him and his son.

Geller is well-known for making predictions on sporting events. Randi and the British tabloid newspaper The Sun demonstrated the teams and players Geller chose to win most often lost. A follower of Randi called it “The Curse of Uri Geller.”

Peter Popoff (born July 2, 1946), a German American televangelist, and self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer conducts revival meetings. He has a national television program. He rose to prominence in the 1980s. During his appearances at religious conventions Popoff routinely and accurately stated the home addresses and specific illnesses of the members in his audience, a feat many believed as divine revelation and “God-given ability.”

Peter Popoff

Peter Popoff

In 1986 when members of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) reported that he was using a radio to receive messages, Popoff denied the allegation and said the messages came from God. Undaunted the skeptic groups across the United States printed and handed out pamphlets explaining how Popoff’s executed his feats. Popoff retorted telling tell his audience that the pamphlets were “tools of the devil”.

James Randi and his assistant Steve Shaw researched Popoff by attending revival meetings across the country for months. Randi asked investigator and crime scene analyst Alexander Jason for technical assistance. Jason used a high-tech (at the time) computerized scanner during a Popoff appearance in San Francisco. Jason identified and intercepted the radio transmissions sent by Peter’s wife Elizabeth Popoff who was backstage reading information which she and her aides had gathered from earlier conversations with members of the audience. Popoff listened to these promptings with an in-ear receiver and repeated what he heard to the crowd.

Randi then planted impostors in the audience, including a man dressed as a woman pretending to have uterine cancer, of which “she” was “cured.”

Alexander Jason produced video segments showing several Popoff “healings.” These shown on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show precipitated the decline of Popoff’s popularity and viewing audiences. In September 1987, sixteen months after the Carson airing, Popoff declared bankruptcy, with more than 790 creditors having claims against him.

According to Fred M. Frohock, “the case of Peter Popoff is one of many egregious instances of fake healing.” In the following video Randi demonstrates how ‘psychic’ Uri Geller bends spoons and other magic tricks; funny moments of Uri squirming in The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; fake healing by Peter Popoff etc.

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Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne (born on October 19, 1936), an American author who describes herself as a psychic and spiritual medium has made several appearances on Larry King Live. She also hosts her own hour-long show on Hay House Radio, discussing paranormal issues and giving callers advice in her role as a psychic.

In 1992, Browne convicted of investment fraud and grand theft caused many controversies with her predictions and claims. Reports of her failed predictions appeared in several newspapers.

She has had a long running feud, with many of her critics including Randi. On March 6, 2001, when Larry King asked Sylvia Browne if she would take the one million challenge she agreed. On September 3, 2001, Randi appeared with Sylvia Browne on Larry King Live and Browne again accepted the challenge. However, she refused the testing phase. So, Randi kept a clock on his website recording the weeks that had passed since Sylvia accepted the challenge without following through. Eventually, Randi replaced the clock with text stating “over 5 years.”

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea (born in England in 1946) a self-proclaimed psychic medium has appeared on many televisions shows: Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show “20/20,” “Unsolved mysteries”, “Prime Time, with Diane Sawyer,” “Politically Incorrect,” “Leeza,” “The View,” and “Fox and friends”. She also appeared in the first episode of Penn & Teller’s show Bullshit!, where Mark Edward exposed her.

On January 26, 2007 Altea appeared on Larry King Live with skeptic James Randi. Randi challenged her to take the one million challenge. She then refused to answer whether she would take the test.

On June 5, 2001, Randi and Altea met again Larry King Live, however, Altea refused to take the challenge, calling it “a trick”. Instead Altea, in part, replied “I agree with what he says, that there are many, many people who claim to be spiritual mediums, they claim to talk to the dead. There are many, people, we all know this. There are cheats and charlatans everywhere.” .

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Click on this line for “Rosemary Altea and James Randi on Larry King Live 1/26/07 Part 2

Click on this line for “Rosemary Altea and James Randi on Larry King Live 1/26/07 Part 3 

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In the December 2003 issue of The Linking Ring, the monthly publication of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, in Points to Ponder: Another Matter of Ethics, p. 97, states, “Perhaps Randi’s ethics are what make him Amazing” and “The Amazing Randi not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.

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Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down Leaving the Catholic Church in Crisis


. Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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“I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April, 2005″  - Pope Benedict XVI

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Pope Benedict XVI ..

On Monday February 11, 2013, during a routine morning meeting of Cardinals in the Vatican Pope Benedict XVI dropped a bombshell by announcing his resignation in Latin thus becoming the first pontiff to step down after 600 years. Even his close associates had no advance knowledge about his decision to resign.

Pope Benedict XVI, formerly German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican’s chief orthodoxy watchdog had plans to retire and spend his final years in his native Bavaria.

In recent years, the Pope has visibly slowed down. He reduced foreign travel and placed a limit on his audiences. Now, a moving platform carries him to and from the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica, and on some occasions, he uses a cane.

As early as 2010, the Pope began to look tired and worn out. He lost weight and did not seem fully engaged when visiting bishops briefed him on their dioceses. He then had made it clear that he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job. However, the Cardinals were surprised and remained shocked when the Pope said that he could not carry on as “both strength of mind and body are necessary – strengths which in the last few months, have deteriorated in me.” He added that he would resign effective 8 p.m. local time on February 28, 2013.

The Vatican declared that no particular medical problem prompted the Pope to make the decision and stressed that he remains fully lucid and made the decision himself.

On April 19, 2005, at age 78, he was the oldest Pope elected in nearly 300 years. It was a time when anger at clerical child-sex-abuse shook the faith of many Catholics in Europe, North America, and many other countries of the world. In 2008, he expressed the abuse as “shame” and met the victims. Nevertheless, he endured criticism for not recognizing the extent of the issue during his 24-year vocation as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the primary doctrinal body of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church with its 1.2 billion followers is now scurrying to replace its leader by Easter.

The next Pope, whoever it be, will take the reins of a church in turmoil because Pope Benedict steps down from the supreme office leaving behind a Church struggling to find its place in an increasingly secular world where many believe that they do not need a God in their lives. The child sex abuse scandals involving priests have prompted thousands of Catholics to forsake the church. Rival Protestant churches, particularly the evangelical Pentecostal groups pose new competition to the Catholic Church in the developing nations. Confrontation from radical anti-Christian groups has surfaced in many Islamic countries. Though Pope Benedict distanced himself from the intrigues of the Curia, in 2012 it caught up with him in the form of “Vatileaks” scandal in which his once loyal butler Paolo Gabriele leaked to the press hundreds of confidential papal memos that revealed tensions prevailing in the Vatican.

Sources in the Vatican said that Pope Benedict would live in an uncharted territory inside the Vatican, but free to go in and out.

After the election of the new Pope how would one address the present Holy Father? Would it be “Pope Emeritus”?

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Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ....

The letter of resignation of Pope Benedict xvi

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

BENEDICTUS PP XVI

Lightning strikes St Peter’s Basilica as Pope resigns

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